A ceremony was held today to mark the installation of the reactor pressure vessel of the APR-1400 under construction as unit 5 of South Korea's Shin Kori nuclear power plant. The 1340 MWe pressurised water reactor is scheduled to begin commercial operation in March 2023.The ceremony to mark the installation of Shin Kori 5's reactor vessel (Image: KHNP)
"Reactor installation is the most important milestone of the entire construction period, completing the construction of major structures at about 50% of the entire building process, and embarking on electromechanical works," Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) said. The reactor vessel was manufactured by Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction.
Construction of Shin Kori units 5 and 6 began in April 2017 and September 2018, respectively. As of the end of October, construction of the two units was 51% complete. Unit 6 is scheduled to be commissioned in June 2024.
Construction of the first two APR-1400 units - Shin Kori 3 and 4 - was authorised in 2006, although the actual construction licence was not issued until April 2008. First concrete for Shin Kori 3 was poured in October 2008, with that for unit 4 following in August 2009. Unit 3 was originally scheduled to enter commercial operation at the end of 2013, with unit 4 due to start in September 2014. However, their operation was delayed by the need to test safety-related control cabling and its subsequent replacement. Unit 3 eventually entered commercial operation in December 2016, followed by unit 4 in September this year.
Two further APR-1400 units are under construction in South Korea as units 1 and 2 of the Shin Hanul site. A further four APR-1400s are under construction at Barakah in the United Arab Emirates, with the first of those units scheduled to begin operation next year.
The APR-1400 is an evolutionary pressurised water reactor with its origins in the CE System 80+ model. Principally designed by Korea Engineering Company, it produces 1400 MWe and has a 60-year design life. It supersedes the standardised 995 MWe OPR-1000 design, of which South Korea built 12. The APR-1400 features improvements in operation, safety, maintenance and affordability based on accumulated experience as well as technological development. Design certification by the Korean Institute of Nuclear Safety was awarded in May 2003. In October 2017, European Utility Requirements - a technical advisory group for European utilities on nuclear power plants - approved the APR1400 reactor design. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission certified the APR-1400 in August this year, finding the design fully meets US safety requirements.